It hurt. It had been hurting for about three days. The scars stung his arms, clinging to them like claws digging into his skin. But he dealt with it, always pushing himself for one more, one more, one more, tears streaming down his face.

"This one's for everything that that nasty Mecha-Drago did," the young blonde announced to himself, pressing the switchblade deep into his skin, sobbing as another two or three tears felt down his face.

It's incredible what can happen in three days to completely destroy a person, especially turning a shy, tender 11-year-old boy into a complete and utter emotional and mental wreck.

Losing his mother wasn't enough, no. His brother, on his own accord, had run off and gotten himself killed, for all Lucas knew.

His only comfort, sitting in the middle of the Sunshine Forest, on a small rock perfect for his light frame, was the switchblade in his hands. A few cuts later, his arm stung and blood trudged down his fingers like a stream. He dropped the switchblade to the ground, pulling his knees to his chest and burying his face within them, sobbing loudly.

"C-CLAUS! Come back already! I…I'm…going to…Claus…!"

Lucas stood up and began to run deep into Sunshine Forest, as fast as his legs could take him, never looking back.

But as soon as he started running, he was stopped. Someone was holding his arms behind his back, leaving him with the choice of staying still or trying to escape and probably breaking his own arms.

Lucas screamed, kicking at whatever was holding him. "LET ME GO! I-I have to find Claus! CLAUS! Can y-you hear me?"

His arms were released, and he was whirled around, receiving a hard slap in the face. "LUCAS! GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF!"

Lucas opened his eyes, gazing up into the hardened face before him. "L-Lighter…please…"

Lighter glared at Lucas, spreading Lucas's arms apart and raising the right sleeve of the long-sleeved shirt he was wearing. He sighed as his eyes came to rest on the blood oozing down Lucas's arm.

He looked into Lucas's tear-filled eyes sincerely. "Lucas, knock it off. Leave finding Claus to your father. Speaking of who…" He pointed to Lucas's arm. "You better stop that, too. If you keep going with that, I'm gonna have to tell your Dad. Even Fuel knew, and he was keeping it a secret."

Lucas's eyes went wide, and he angrily hit Lighter's arm as hard as he could. However, considering his size, it wasn't much. "You better not tell Dad! He's worried enough right now! I don't want him to know about these! He did nothing wrong!"

Lighter picked up the small boy, who, although 11 years old, looked more like he was 9. "Lucas…"

Lucas started to cry. "P-Put me down. Put me down. I love C-Claus…I love Claus, and n-now he AND mom are g-gone!"

Lighter pitied Lucas, but did as he said, and Lucas ran off back the way he came.

…...

Lucas knelt at the foot of the shrine in the Player Sanctuary. Whenever he'd felt stressed, upset, or even happy and wanting to talk, he'd always come and talk to pretty much nothing at all, but it got things off his chest. He lowered his head, closing his eyes, which were still wet from so many tears, speaking in between shaky breaths.

"I-I know you can't bring mom back. And I know you c-can't make Claus come back any faster. But…just give me o-one person who will understand me and want t-to listen."

As much as he'd hoped that would've gotten something off his chest, his hopes fell through, and his heart still felt as heavy as 50,000 pounds of lead.

He sadly trudged out of the sanctuary and washed his bruised and battered arms in a hot spring nearby. It stung, but Lucas couldn't risk his Dad seeing anything. He sighed, a few more tears falling in the process, his heart aching painfully, as if with each beat, it was dying a little more.

He began the sad walk through back through Tazmily Village, staring mournfully at his own feet, ignoring the happy smiles and greetings all around him. When he at last made it to his house, he sighed, opening the door, closing it behind him, and immediately flopping himself down onto the bed, burying his tear-stained face in the pillow, gazing at the picture of his family in the picture frame by the nightstand.

He began to cry, and did so until he had fallen asleep.

…...

The two boys ran, their almost identical clothing and features making it impossible for those behind them to tell which was which, and which one to kill and which one to capture alive.

"PK Rockin' Gamma!" the smaller 13-year-old boy cried out, colorful explosions of light bursting from his fingertips. However, it seemed as if the effects were minimal, and the soldiers kept racing after them.

The taller 14-year-old boy swore softly to himself before turning to the smaller one. "What do we do now?"

The smaller one stopped in his tracks. "PK Teleport Beta." A small portal opened up next to him.

The taller boy tugged on the smaller boy's shirt. "Ness, what are you doing? We gotta keep running!"

Ness shook his head. "Porky wants to kill me, but he wants to capture you. Just get out of here now. I'm running out of energy, and I can't use very much more PSI. You and I are both as good as dead if you stay with me."

The taller boy glared at Ness. "No! I don't want to leave you here to die, you saved my life more times than I can count in the last few hours!"

Ness shook his head once more. "GO! It won't hold out forever!" Ness was about to shove the boy into the portal, but the boy hesitated to go.

"Ness…where will I wind up?"

Ness shoved him in. "I don't know!"

The boy screamed as he fell down the hole. "NEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!"

As soon as he was gone from sight, the portal faded. Ness sighed and got down on his knees as the soldiers caught up with him, grimacing as he heard the voice of the so-called "King" himself.

"Ness…it's been a while, you know."

Ness angrily yelled at him as two soldiers came from behind, each one grabbing one of his arms. "Shut up, Pokey! Why are you doing this? Why more than just time travel?"

The voice became irritated. "That's King Porky to you, now, Ness."

And without another word, a soldier drew a knife. Ness closed his eyes as the knife was plunged deep into his neck, blood spurting like a fountain as he fell forward, held only by the soldiers.

Porky smirked from inside his machine, turning it and looking out over the ruins of the once-beautiful town, now destroyed, with fire and blood littering the ground.